Indoor Growing: Philodendron

Philodendron (Scientific Name:  Philodendron)

With its glossy leaves, the Philodendron, adds a touch of jungle to any home.  It comes in two types, the climbing varieties normally seen in hanging baskets or training along a trellis or moss stick, and the non-climbing types which provide excellent upright foliage in pots on the floor or table.

Originating from tropical regions, Philodendrons will grow best when provided plenty of warmth, moisture, and dappled, bright light.  They can be acclimated to nearly direct sunlight, but they will thrive in light shade.  If many of the leaves turn yellow at the same time, your plant may be letting you know it’s getting too much direct light.  If it’s getting leggy, it’s probably not getting enough light.


These vigorous growers like a rich, loose potting soil that drains well and is kept moist at all times.  However, root rot could develop if overwatered.  Your plant will produce larger leaves and remain healthier when fertilized regularly during the growing season.

Philodendrons are easily propagated by placing stem cuttings in water and potting up once a good network of roots has formed.

The Philodendron is often confused with the Pothos vine but their leaves help us tell them apart.  Philodendron leaves are more heart-shaped, thinner and soft textured, while the Photos leaves are larger, thicker, and waxier.  Philodendron leaves and stems can be toxic to humans, cats, and dogs.

Philodendrons are valued for their ability to remove indoor toxins, particularly formaldehyde, from the air.

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